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(THE DELIVERY OF IT PREVENTED BY A RECONCILIATION)
Think, Delia, with what cruel haste
Our fleeting pleasures move,
Nor heedless thus in sorrow waste
The moments due to love ;
Be wise, my fair, and gently treat
These few that are our friends;
Think, thus abused, what sad regret
Their speedy flight attends !
Sure in those eyes I loved so well,
And wished so long to see,
Anger I thought could never dwell,
Or anger aimed at me.
No bold offence of mine I knew
Should e'er provoke your hate;
And, early taught to think you true,
Still hoped a gentler fate.
With kindness bless the present hour,
Or oh! we meet in vain !
What can we do in absence more
Than suffer and complain?
Fated to ills beyond redress,
We must endure our woe;
The days allowed us to possess,
'Tis madness to forego.
WOULD my Delia know if I love, let her take last thought at night, and the first when I wake;
my prayers and best wishes preferred for her sake.
her guess what I muse on, when, rambling alone,
nde o'er the stubble each day with my gun, "ever ready to shoot till the covey is flown.
Let her think what odd whimsies I have in my brain,
When I read one page over and over again,
And discover at last that I read it in vain.
Let her say why so fixed and so steady my look,
Without ever regarding the person who spoke,
Still affecting to laugh, without hearing the joke.
Or why when with pleasure her praises I hear
(That sweetest of melody sure to my ear),
I attend, and at once inattentive appear.
And lastly, when summoned to drink to my flame, Let her guess why I never once mention her name, Though herself and the woman I love are the same.
To Delia, PRAYING FOR FORGIVENESS
See where the Thames, the purest stream
That wavers to the noon-day beam,
Divides the vale below;
While like a vein of liquid ore
His waves enrich the happy shore,
Still shining as they flow !
Nor yet, my Delia, to the main
Runs the sweet tide without a stain
Unsullied as it seems;
The nymphs of many a sable flood
Deform with streaks of oozy mud
The bosom of the Thames.
Some idle rivulets, that feed
And suckle every noisome weed,
A sandy bottom boast;
For ever bright, for ever clear,
The trifling shallow rills appear
In their own channel lost.
Thus fares it with the human soul
Where copious floods of passion roll,
By genuine love supplied ;
Fair in itself the current shows,
But ah ! a thousand anxious woes
Pollute the noble tide.
These are emotions known to few;
For where at most a vapoury dew
Surrounds the tranquil heart,
There, as the triflers never prove
The glad excess of real love,
They never prove the smart.
Oh then, my life, at last relent !
Though cruel the reproach I sent,
My sorrow was unfeigned :
Your passion, had I loved you not,
You might have scorned, renounced, forgot,
And I had ne'er complained.
While you indulge a groundless fear,
The imaginary woes you bear
Are real woes to me:
But thou art kind, and good thou art,
Nor wilt, by wronging thine own heart,
Unjustly punish me.
To DELIA, DECLARING THAT HER LOVE IS ALL HE NEEDS FOR
How blest the youth whom Fate ordains
A kind relief from all his pains
In some admired fair ;
Whose tenderest wishes find expressed
Their own resemblance in her breast,
Exactly copied there!
What good soe'er the gods dispense,
The enjoyment of its influence
Still on her love depends;
Her love the shield that guards his heart,
Or wards the blow, or blunts the dart,
That peevish Fortune sends.
Thus, Delia, while thy love endures,
The flame my happy breast secures
From Fortune's fickle power;
Change as she list, she may increase
But not abate my happiness,
Confirmed by thee before.
Thus while I share her smiles with thee,
Welcome, my love, shall ever be
The favours she bestows;
Yet not on those I found my bliss,
But in the noble ecstasies
The faithful bosom knows.
And when she prunes her wings for flight,
And flutters nimbly from my sight,
Contented I resign
Whate'er she gave; thy love alone
I can securely call my own,
Happy while that is mine.
ON HER ENDEAVOURING TO CONCEAL HER GRIEF AT PARTING
Ah! wherefore should my weeping maid suppress
Those gentle signs of undissembled woe?
When from soft love proceeds the deep distress,
Ah! why forbid the willing tears to flow?
Since for my sake each dear translucent drop
Breaks forth, best witness of thy truth sincere,
My lips should drink the precious mixture up,
And, ere it falls, receive the trembling tear.
Trust me, these symptoms of thy faithful heart
In absence shall my dearest hope sustain ;
Delia ! since such thy sorrow that we part,
Such when we meet thy joy shall be again.
Hard is that heart and unsubdued by love
That feels no pain, nor ever heaves a sigh ;
Such hearts the fiercest passions only prove,
Or freeze in cold insensibility.
Oh! then indulge thy grief, nor fear to tell
The gentle source from whence thy sorrows flow; Nor think it weakness when we love to feel,
Nor think it weakness what we feel to show.
The Lover's HEART IN ABSENCE
Bid adieu, my sad heart, bid adieu to thy peace!
Thy pleasure is past, and thy sorrows increase ;
See the shadows of evening how far they extend,
And a long night is coming, that never may end;
For the sun is now set that enlivened the scene,
And an age must be past ere it rises again.
Already deprived of its splendour and heat,
I feel thee more slowly, more heavily beat;
Perhaps, overstrained with the quick pulse of pleasure,
Thou art glad of this respite to beat at thy leisure ;
But the sigh of distress shall now weary thee more
Than the futter and tumult of passion before.
The heart of a lover is never at rest,
With joy overwhelmed, or with sorrow oppressed :
When Delia is near, all is ecstasy then,
And I even forget I must lose her again :
When absent, as wretched as happy before,
Despairing I cry “ I shall see her no more !
WRITTEN AFTER LEAVING HER AT New BURNS
How quick the change from joy to woe!
How chequered is our lot below!
Seldom we view the prospect fair,
Dark clouds of sorrow, pain, and care
(Some pleasing intervals between)
Scowl over more than half the scene.
Last week with Delia, gentle maid,
Far hence in happier fields I strayed,
While on her dear enchanting tongue
Soft sounds of grateful welcome hung,
For absence had withheld it long.
“Welcome, my long-lost love,” she said,
“ E'er since our adverse fates decreed
That we must part, and I must mourn
Till once more blessed by thy return,
Love, on whose influence I relied
For all the transports I enjoyed,
Has played the cruel tyrant's part
And turned tormentor to my heart.
But let me hold thee to my breast, -
Dear partner of my joy and rest,
And not a pain, and not a fear
Or anxious doubt, shall enter there."
Happy, thought I, the favoured youth
Blest with such undissembled truth!
Five suns successive rose and set,
And saw no monarch in his state,
Wrapped in the blaze of majesty,
So free from every care as I.